Strategies for Fending Off the Malas

Now that you a little bit about what the malas are and how they manifest themselves, the question becomes….how the heck do you fend them off?

In our “malas intensive” this week, I presented five different strategies for keeping the dust and grime on the heart at bay.  I’m sure there are dozens more, and I’m sure that a more experienced practitioner and aweakened-liver would have a more efficient and effective list of strategies.  But for now, this list works for me, and I’m sharing it with you…kind of like a Christmas present that keeps on giving!

1.  Take care of yourself.

Anava mala, the feeling of unworthiness to which all of us can succumb at times, is the basis for all the other malas, so warding off this one is key.  You are a god or goddess in earthy form!  Anava mala will cause you to forget that.  So…what if you treat yourself like the god or goddess that you are, whether you feel like one or not?  You might just find that the royal treatment you bestow upon yourself helps you to remember your true nature.

2.  Connect to others.

When you are under the influence of mayiya mala, you see difference instead of unity, separation instead of connection.  The minute you make an effort to see the world through another’s eyes or listen to their story, you are reminded that they are living with the same challenges that you are.  They want the same things, and are made of the same flesh and bone as you.  You connect, and you see unity.  Yes, the differences are still there, and are part of the beautiful diversity that makes up our world.  But the differences rest on a background of shared hopes, dreams, and fears.

3.  Take time to be, not do.

We are so quick to define ourselves as what we do, instead of who we are when we are still and silent.  In our society, we tend to fill our time with activities so we can better describe what we do from an external reference point.  We use action to fill holes we sense exist in ourselves.  We act and act until we feel like we are never doing enough…and then we experience karma mala and the fear and anxiety that accompany it.  By simply taking time to “be” each day, and to remember that there is a bright and powerful self beneath all the activity, we can shed the shackles of karma mala.

4.  Depersonalize the malas and their accompanying emotions.

Not only are you not what you do, you are also not what you feel or think!  Your feelings and thoughts arise from you, and help the world to get a sense of who you are deep inside, but they are not you.  You are a spark of divinity on earth to experience its wonder and do your work in the world.  If you can hang onto that notion when negative emotions (like the sadness, anger and fear that the malas can foster) arise, then you can let these emotions go.  They will come into your awareness; they’re part of being human.  But if you choose not to identify with them, they will ride right out on the breath.  And you – the real you that is connected to something greater – will still be there.

5.  Remember the highest and keep an open heart.

We all have something or someone that makes our heart sing.  I believe that this mission, drive, passion – whatever you want to call it – can motivate everything we do with such fire that the dust of the malas burns right off the heart.  Envision this: your heart is so bright and well oxygenated with prana that there is simply no opportunity for a layer of grime to form on it!  In order for the malas to take root and spread, they need a cold, dark, abandoned house – kind of like what mold needs to flourish.  If your heart is always open (or at least striving to be) the environment just isn’t right for the grime to grow.  It abandons the project and looks for another host.  Without the layer of gunk, your heart burns even brighter…which makes it even harder for the malas to settle in…and the positive feedback cycle continues.  Maybe even to the point that the process becomes contagious.

That last piece – the contagious one – that is key right now.  You will interact with people in the next two weeks (and beyond, of course) that aren’t feeling so radiant.  Their layers of mala might be so thick that they don’t even remember that there’s a heart down in there.  They need you, whether they know it or not.  They need your example, and they need your brightness to jump start the fire in their own hearts.

So do the work.  For you, for them, for all of us.


~ by bridgetannlyons on December 16, 2011.

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